Thursday, January 24, 2008

Appreciating January

January: all sorts of new beginnings! The New Year, another birthday (flowers below), first anniversary of starting to blog, 9th anniversary of our first visit to Weight Watchers (a total of over 100 pounds ago, altogether, for the 3 of us), time for a fresh running season and mapping out training schedules for races and the next marathon.
And new hope for managing myeloma with supplements and diet and activity, without super-drugs. Birthday flowers
Appreciating January: with icicles. Running tracks, with their tight corners that can crunch knees but also inviting straightaways, boring dreadmills but with calculators that can clock speed and distance, getting back to strength training because strong muscles make strong bones, venturing outdoors to freeze the bones but gracing us with the promise of warm spring running.
January icicles Discovery: Many people may be healthier without gluten.
One of the secrets of gluten-free baking (besides commitment to the life-saving aspect of it for some folks) is not trying to replicate gluten-laden (unhealthy) foods. Once I gave up using white rice flour and nutrition-stripped potato flour, we found new delights in ancient whole grains: teff, millet, amaranth.
Click on pictures to enlarge; hover to read captions.
Tasty new treat This January I celebrate my first year (2007) of having my own lap top computer, a year of learning to make photo albums with 8X6 inch prints of digital pictures... with captions! Because my computer expertise is spotty, I decided to record the steps for editing pictures... with my digital camera... see below. Record of steps in processing Appreciating January memories:
**the gift of being snowed in,
**standing in snow posing for Dad to take my annual birthday picture of me holding the cake Mom had made and decorated,
**the January I began teaching 4th grade in Minneapolis,
**the 3 Januarys that I was pregnant and stayed cozy indoors,
**the January day the butter hardened on the kitchen counter because the movers had the doors open while they were in and out loading our furniture and belongings,
**taking pictures of our kids out sledding and shoveling in the snow,
**braving the Minnesota winters on my journey through 3 years of seminary and a year of internship,
**running 5K races in January weather

And now, appreciating the rhythm of the changing seasons and eagerly anticipating the first spring run out on the Gateway Trail.
Geese on the ice 2007 early spring


Backofpack said...

This is a wonderful post. I had to smile though, because I imagined you feeling a little down and bound by January weather, and then making the conscious choice to look for the blessings. And lucky us, however it happened, it is a great post of reflections!

Backofpack said...

Well, I called it bullying but it was more like nagging. And the thing was, I knew that he was right, I just didn't want to work so hard!

Unknown said...

What a nice post. You make me smile reading it...and I love your photos. :)

DawnB said...

What a great post. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for reminding me that there is always more.

Anonymous said...

This post made me feel happy and calm...thanks :)

Margaret said...

Lovely lovely post, Sunshine.
I clicked on the photo of that great-looking loaf to read the recipe (I am a mad baker, myself!), and was surprised to read about gluten-free vanilla (?). Interesting. I also have no idea what teff flour is, will have to look it up. You really should write a recipe book! The food you and Sweet Pea make looks absolutely glorious.
By the way, I found some gluten-free beer in the supermarket here last week, and thought immediately of Don (since I do not drink beer). Gluten-free beer in an Italian supermarket, fancy that!
I echo your sentiments about managing myeloma with supplements etc., by the way! Yes indeedie! :-)
Florence, Italy

Bob - said...

Awesome Post Sunshine!! Love the spirit of appreciation, Great Pics tooo...

So glad u got that workbook, it is priceless and will be one of the most popular books in ur library.

rocketpants said...

It always is nice to just drink in a new year and look at the great things ahead and where one has come from. Thanks for the insight.

Mary Sunshine said...

Dear Sunshine,

THANK You for drawing my attention to the appreciation of January. This is a first for me. I'm usually curled into a tight angry knot about the temperature. Your post helped me enjoy the Januaryness all around me on yesterday's long run. I think I'll do another today before this month slips away.

peter said...

They'er all nice but that picture of the water with the sunlight-suffused mist rising off it is superb. My father grew up in Minnesota (Winona) in a duck-hunting family and I always picture him as a boy traipsing through scenes like that.

Vickie said...

Lots of good memories and blessings all rolled into one. Thanks for sharing.

Anne said...

Happy blog anniversary! I love the ice picture, maybe because it's a foreign sight here.